The Greater Dalton Community and Economic Development Strategy planning process lasted approximately nine months, concluding in May 2017. It consisted of four phases:
Phase 1: Interviews and Online Survey
The Market Street Services team worked with the Greater Dalton Chamber and its partners to identify community stakeholders to participate in a one-on-one interview. These interviews were supplemented by an online community survey open to anyone who lives and/or works in Greater Dalton, ensuring a broad base of community guidance. In order to further facilitate engagement, this project website provided access to key deliverables and other important materials developed during the process, as well as direct access to the online community survey.
Phase 2: Community Assessment
The Community Assessment connected the dots from past research efforts while integrating the latest information about Greater Dalton’s economy, workforce, and demographic trends gathered from our research and feedback from interview participants and survey respondents. Data was summarized in five scorecards that benchmark Greater Dalton’s recent progress against nine peer communities. These scorecards spoke to demographic, socioeconomic, workforce, business climate, and place-based dynamics in Greater Dalton.
Phase 3: Community and Economic Development Strategy
Success in the strategic planning process required local leaders to come together around a consensus-based blueprint for action. The Community and Economic Development Strategy brought together findings from the first two phases of the process and created a holistic five-year vision for the Greater Dalton. Strategic recommendations were driven by research findings and feedback from local stakeholders. Examples of best practice programs, policies, and initiatives from communities around the country were included when relevant and appropriate to help inform strategic recommendations and their subsequent implementation.
Phase 4: Implementation Plan
The final step of the process worked with community leaders and to develop a roadmap to operationalize and activate the Strategy. The Implementation Plan will ensure that the “what” of the Strategy can become a reality by committing to “how” actions will be implemented. Market Street will work with the Steering Committee to prioritize actions, develop a realistic timelines for implementation, identify of “lead” and “support” organizations to advance efforts, review capacity and funding, and develop performance metrics that the community can use to track progress.